GRNC and GOA Sue Mecklenburg County Sheriff Over Delays In CHP Process

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden Twitter
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden Twitter

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -(Ammoland.com)- For the second time this year, Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC), Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), Rights Watch International (RWI), and two North Carolina residents are suing Mecklenburg County Sheriff and failed reality TV star Garry McFadden.

Earlier this year, the groups sued Sheriff McFadden for slow-rolling issuing of concealed handgun permits (CHP) for county residents. Under North Carolina law, the Sheriff’s Department must issue CHPs within forty-five days of receiving an applicant’s application. The applicant must include fingerprints from the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff McFadden used this requirement to his advantage by not considering the application complete until the fingerprinting was done.

Sheriff McFadden would delay the fingerprinting appointments by up to ten months. Only then would he consider the application to be complete. This delay means that residents of the county, which includes North Carolina’s biggest city of Charlotte, could be forced to wait up to a year to receive their CHP.

The gun rights groups filed a lawsuit against Sheriff McFadden in the United States District Court for The Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. Sheriff McFadden claimed that the delays in fingerprinting were due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uptick of new gun buyers. The groups didn’t buy the Sheriff’s excuses and asked the courts for an injunction against the Sheriff’s Office from delaying fingerprinting.

The court sided with the plaintiffs, and the Sheriff entered into a settlement with the groups and agreed to do same-day fingerprinting when the application was turned in to the Sheriff’s Department.

Now the Sheriff is trying to use another loophole to once again slow-roll concealed handgun permits. Under North Carolina law, the Sheriff’s Department can request mental health records. Whereas other localities only request mental health records from the local county. Sheriff McFadden is requesting mental health records from anywhere and everywhere. The Sheriff requires his department to ask for documents from the state, local, and national agencies.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department is even contacting the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to get mental health records of military veterans. The Sheriff’s mental health checks even go beyond those of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The Sheriff’s Department will not start the forty-five-day clock until all its requested mental health checks are returned, which the Sheriff waits ten days until sending out to the agencies. This delay in requesting mental health records means that the Sheriff’s department would have at least fifty-five days to approve or deny the applicant’s CHP, even if all agencies return the requested documents on the same day, which is highly unlikely.

The plaintiffs surmise that Sheriff McFadden is using the statute to violate Mecklenburg County citizens’ gun rights that the U.S. Constitution protects. They believe that a right denied is a right delayed. The plaintiffs also think that the Sheriff is violating North Carolina state law.

The groups will also try to knock down the “Mental Health Provisions” of the North Carolina law. They claim that the provision is unconstitutional for the same reasons as the defendant’s actions violate the Constitution.

If the suit is successful, Sheriff McFadden will be forced to approve or deny concealed handgun permits within forty-five days at a minimum and could see the end of the “Mental Health Provisions” of the North Carolina law.


About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump

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DarthKur

How about we do away with the entire premise of needing a permission slip in order to perform a Constitutionally guaranteed action. That would make all of this kind of subversive meanderings a moot point.

Arny

I have long ago.

Choogie

North Carolina is considered to be a pretty red state. Perhaps he ran as a conservative but is truly an undercover dimwit democrat. Seems that the democrats are doing quite a bit of that. Check out Kate Stansell with the American Policy Center and read her article of what the dimwits are doing to fraud the American Vote now.

PMinFl

Maybe the voters only consideration is the party label, kinda like Maine and it’s RINO senators.

hippybiker

It’s time for the voters in this county to show this creep who his bosses are and vote him out of office!

Paul Valone

Thanks for the excellent piece, John. On this: “The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department is even contacting the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to get mental health records of military veterans.” I would add only that McFadden is requesting records from the VA not only for veterans, but for *all* applicants, effectively flooding the VA with requests for people the VA has no obligation to help (i.e. people who never served in the military). His excuse is that some people might not claim their military service on the CHP application. In truth, however, the VA has been required to report… Read more »

Choogie

YEAH like he thinks the VA should cater to his office. The VA does not work for the rest of this country for such matters. It works for the Veterans and not the sheriffs department of any county.

Lava

I don’t think they need to strike down state law yet. They do need to recall this Sheriff